Gwennie Dickson

Dominica Water and Sewerage Company (DOWASCO) officials has advised the public to boil water before drinking, as it continues to monitor its system in light of the spread of ashes from Montserrat’s volcano dome collapse.

Public Relations Officer of DOWASCO Gwennie Dickson in a statement issued  on Friday said the most common problems that can be associated with the ash contamination are high turbidity and acidity.

“Dominica is currently experiencing the effects of ash from the collapse of the dome of the Soufriere Hills, Montserrat Volcano and as a result many persons have voiced concerns regarding water quality. Whenever there is high turbidity the typical advice is to boil water for drinking,” she said.

According to Dickson, ash contains parameters such as sulphates which normally occur in ground water, and is of concern only when found in high concentrations.

“Our water monitoring programs test for these parameters on a regular basis to ensure conformity with World Health Organization standards for drinking water.

“We would like to reassure the public that we are conducting checks on the water quality of all our water systems to determine whether there are any changes that need mitigating action. So far, we have not received any negative results,” she added.

DOWASCO has also been in contact with the Environmental Health Department and also the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute in St. Lucia.